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Absolutely. Data alone cannot capture perceptions of value and success. For that matter, no one isolated technique--including an interview--can get to the bottom of what "makes a person tick." It takes continuous immersion in and engagement with a customer over time. But a framework and system is still needed for, first of all, focusing association on the true indicators of customer value and engagement vs. mere participation; monitoring and benchmarking progress; establishing incentives and rewards and organizing around the single goal of providing unique and relevant customer value.
11 months ago on True Customer Engagement: the Leap Beyond User Experience
Hi Jill: Sorry for the delay. There was a glitch and I was never notified of your comment. I am so happy that you appreciated the practical applications of concepts. You made my day. You are so right that it takes a major, present disruption (anything in the future, however imminent, is experienced as unreal) to yank us out of habit and lethargy. I am always struggling to demonstrate execution and practical applications; to convey that strategic thinking and concepts does not mean impractical thinking. It means understanting the link between the smallest and most mundane elements and the big picture and doing things differently and with the purpose'
Urgency is another tough concet. As you said, it so difficult for all of us to lead with a keen sense of purpose and urgency if we are not in a crisis. And you are right that it is a test of leadership to set the tone rather than be absorbed by "business as usual." I found that one of the differences betwwen successful, growing organizations and those that are declining is a sense of urgency and purpose in the former. If you have more thoughts or examples of this kind of leadership dilemmas and the most debilitating obstacles to these new benchmarks, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for your insights and kind words.
11 months ago on New Benchmarks for Success in the Knowledge Age
@Mr Ryan Connors @annacaraveli
Ryan, thanks for your good words and questions. I have struggled for a long time to find way to develop more objective outcome- based measures of engagement that measure sucess vs. participation. I have come up with an engagement continuum with nominal participation on one end of the continuum and complete engagement on the other end. The various stages of engagement are measured by the members' perceived value of their membership: from "nice but not necessar"y to have; to "practical and usable but not that unique," to "indispensable to some aspect of my success." I don't think data alone can measure perceptions of value and success, but perhaps there is a checklist of questions and categories of date that can be tracked. If you have any ideas or thoughts, please feel free to drop me an email and discuss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
11 months, 1 week ago on True Customer Engagement: the Leap Beyond User Experience
This is a wonderful article. Good for you that you are able to set aside a narrow "task" and transaction perspective and just focuse on people, trying to understand what motivates and moves them to action. This is the only type of customer/market knowledge that truly counts, in my opinion, and can make a difference in "connecting" with clients on levels that matter the most.
1 year, 6 months ago on Conference Season: Learning for More than Members
Maddie, Happy Birthday! Wow! It's been such a long long time since I hit 40. Enjoy.
1 year, 7 months ago on Wake up.
Hi Eric, you got me there. I didn't realize that one could extrapolate from my argument that mission should have nothing to do with strategy; or that only tactical concerns should guide a member-centric organization. Thank you for helping me think through this. I am not arguing against having a mission and vision to aspire to. And you are right to point out that in a healthy organization mission, strategy and operations are aligned (as in the case of AAFP). I am referring to the actual practice and behavior from both an anthropological and business perspective. In practice, identifying with being "mission-driven" usually translates into a provider and product centered culture, beliefs, assumptions, norms and services. From a management theory perspective the difference I pointed out in my post boils down to what ultimately drives what: Are the fundamental building blocks of an organization--e.g. definitions and categories of members; how value is defined and delivered; value proposition; market and industry role, etc.--determined on the basis of how well they fit its mission statement? Or does the mission adapt to fit the changing industry boundaries, consumer needs, definitions of value, etc. so that the organization ultimately delivers the maximum value to its members?
In our research this far, organizations in the first category are slow to change and not adequately flexible to adapt to the rapid pace of change in consumer needs and today's open systems of shared knowledge and distributed power. By the way, by solving concrete member problems I am not refering to a tactical level of service. On the contrary, being in the position of solving members' strategic challenges requires a more consultative, customized approach than the off-the shelf benefit packages. I appreciate your challenging my thinking every time it gets muddled or vague. Clearly you have done a great deal of thinking and wring yourself on these topics. Thanks.
1 year, 7 months ago on Mission Driven or People Driven?
Thanks Eric. Good question. Well, you are right that the more a mission is the product of co-development with members the more authentic. The problem, however, is with the nature of "mission statement" and the way it is used. Missions are by nature abstractions and not the stuff business and membership strategies are built on. Many associations confuse them with value proposition and strategic objectives. Take the mission of "saving patients' lives" that a health organization proudly promotes. How many doctors wake up in the morning anxious about not killing anybody that day? While that is their ultimate goal, what "keeps them up" at night may be things like: how to get quick access to the latest research before it is published and on a 24/7 basis? How can I get my practice financially viable in this tough economy and increase both the quality of patient care and my ability to make a living? How can I train staff and align my entire practice with the patient-center medical home? Gain access to hospital privileges with a PhD in health care vs. an MD?.......If you are focused on an abstract principle and expend efforts at, say, journal articles and conferences about it, you are not connecting with where your members really live and help them solve problems that will, in the end, improve patient care and save lives. Does it make sense? For an association to make a difference in their members' success, I think they have to start with where members live and help them solve the key challenges the "keep them up at night." I appreciate your comment.
Thanks. Very interesting perspective. Love the idea of projects and the examples you give. I am in the process of starting a new leadership community and I'll try them
1 year, 9 months ago on Membership as Living Community